The Co-operative Bank has the worst-rated app among the largest UK banks, with other lenders also struggling to keep pace with consumers’ shift to mobile devices.
The Co-op’s app has received nine negative reviews for every one positive rating in Apple’s App Store since its launch a year ago, according to a report by Xtreme Labs, a mobile developer.
It still fares better than five of the UK’s largest 12 banks – Standard Chartered, Standard Life, Investec, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, and Northern Rock – which do not even have an app available in the UK. Standard Chartered offers an app outside the UK.
“Banks are typically laggards in consumer technology and mobile development is quite challenging,” said Mike Stern, director of financial services at Xtreme Labs.
“In many cases, these apps simply don’t work.”
Common complaints with banking apps include difficulties logging in and viewing past transactions. HSBC’s Fast Balance app has been criticised for not allowing customers to transfer money.
One reviewer of the Co-op’s app said the service appeared to have been “designed by a ‘junior app designer’ on his first day in the office,” while another wrote, “Love the Co-op Bank for its old-fashioned values . . . But its old-fashioned app is woeful.”
The Co-op, which has struggled to overhaul its wider IT systems, said it is working “significantly to improve the experience and the functionality” offered by the app, with new features to be introduced in the coming months.
Strong performers in Xtreme Labs’ report included Natwest’s Android app, which had four positive ratings for every negative rating.
The best ranked iOS app was Santander’s Personal Banking, with an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars among reviewers.
This article has been updated since publication to clarify that Standard Chartered offers an app outside the UK.
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